Overcasting and Undercasting in HARP

Copyright Patrick Emerton © 2007

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"A character may at any time gather mana by drawing upon his or her own personal strength."

This article introduces the possibility of overcasting spells, and undercasting PPs, for HARP spell casters. It was inspired by a thread on the ICE HARP messageboards: <http://www.ironcrown.com/ICEforums/index.php?topic=3257>.

Gathering mana from within

A character may at any time gather mana by drawing upon his or her own personal strength. To do so, s/he must make a Hard (-20) maneuver each round using the Power Point Development skill; this requires total concentration (which precludes moving, casting spells, attacking or performing any other action).

The maneuver is resolved on the Percentage column of the maneuver table. Once the total of the results achieved equals 100 or more, the character may convert his or her stats into PPs, according to the following table:

5 points of both Strength and Constitution 1 PP
5 points of Self-Discipline 1 PP
5 points of Insight 1 PP

The character may not generate more PP, in total, than his or her number of ranks in Power Point Development skill, and the PPs are lost unless the caster begins casting a spell the next round and successfully completes its casting (whether in that round or a subsequent round). The lost points of stat may be healed in the normal fashion (using the Restoration spell, or Succor for lost Constitution).

Using gathered mana to overcast spells

When casting a spell in the above fashion, the caster may strengthen her spell casting by spending additional rounds and additional PPs.

For each additional round spent casting the spell, in lieu of the normal benefit of a +5 to the Spell Casting roll, the character may spend 5 PP obtained by drawing upon his or her own personal strength (to a maximum of 30 PPs in total) to gain one of the following advantages:

  • To scale the spell by 1 PP with no effect on skill ranks or PPs required, nor on the spell's fumble modification;
  • To reduce by 1 the PP penalty for wearing armour (to a minimum penalty of 1 PP).

Author's Note: By varying the number of PPs that have to be spent to overcast (and thus the number of points of stat that must be sacrificed to generate those PPs), the power of overcasting can be increased or reduced.